Eighth General Conference Session
May 28 to June 24, 1959, 32 delegates convened in
Sao Paulo, Brazil. Twelve Unions and Fields, with
10,000 members, were represented. For the first
time, after 22 years, the Yugoslavian Union was
able to send its representatives to the General
Conference session. From Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia,
only letters with greetings and news were read before
delegation, eighth session, Sao Paulo, Brazil,
D. Nicolici, in his report, spoke about the work
in the Philippines (started in 1956) and the contacts
made in such countries as India, Burma, and Nigeria.
was given to the calls coming from Colombia, Venezuela,
Central American countries (especially Guatemala),
Mexico, as well as Spain and Portugal, and a resolution
was made to send workers and canvassers to take
advantage of the openings in these areas.
the doctrinal points brought to the attention of
the delegation, there were questions about the identity
of Melchisedec, interpretation of Hebrews 1:5, life
insurance, trades in which a Reformer can or cannot
engage, the use of one cup in the ordinances, the
loud cry (Principles of Faith, point 16), and others.
in session, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1959.
point 16 of our Principles of Faith, the following
recommendation was made: So that our teaching may
not be misinterpreted, we should refer to the present
work of reformation as leading to the fulfillment
of the prophecy contained in Early Writings,
pp. 85, 86. It is in this sense that point 16 should
be read and understood.
Conference officers for the next term: A. Lavrik,
president; D. Nicolici, first vice president; E.
Laicovschi, second vice president; I. W. Smith,
Council elected in 1959.
Ninth General Conference Session
delegates were present at Gross Gerau, Germany,
from August 22 to September 19, 1963. The reported
membership was approximately 11,000. Among the new
fields, the Philippines were mentioned as the most
delegation, ninth session, Gross Gerau, Frankfurt,
A. Lavrik, the outgoing president, expressed his
gratitude to God for the privilege that He had given
us of meeting again as a GC delegation in session.
He briefly reviewed the history of the Reform Movement,
some phases of which, as we could see, were not
for encouragement. Our only hope and assurance for
the future of our work, Brother Lavrik said, is
found in the message of the Lord to King Jehoshaphat:
"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye
be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye
prosper." Our greatest need at this time, he
emphasized, is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The question was put to the delegates, "Why
do we not feel so urgently the need of the promised
gift as in the early days of the message of reformation?"
It is left for each one of us, he added, to seek
the answer for himself on his knees before God.
In order that the promised power may be ours, we
must meet the conditions, preparing the way.
Lavrik thanked the German Union for the substantial
financial help extended to the General Conference
during the past quadrennium (19591963), which
made it possible to send out and support missionaries
in four new missionary fieldsIberia, Central
America, Philippines, and Nigeria.
explained that, in the restricted countries, where
religious liberty does not exist, we have thousands
of brethren who, despite the most cruel oppression,
stand firm in the truth. Some heart-rending experiences
that had been endured by individual members, families,
and groups living in these countries were narrated
before the delegates.
delegation gave much attention to the missionary
work and recommended the following program:
D. Nicolici was censured by the delegation for having
ordained men who were not qualified for ordination
(Nigeria, 1958). He apologized for his mistake,
saying that he was deceived by those men.
and Administrative Points
certain number of doctrinal questions were considered
by the delegates (e.g., occupations inconsistent
with our principles, health reform, proper Sabbathkeeping,
preexistence of Christ, and others).
that our belief would not be misconstrued, the question
about the preexistence of Christ was answered, and
our position on this point was reconfirmed, only
with quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy and
the Principles of Faith, point 2.
were also administrative points on the agenda such
as the administration of the American Union to be
completely separated from that of the General Conference,
the GC headquarters to be moved to a more suitable
location, the General Conference to adopt a budget
system, and regional secretaries to be placed in
different strategic parts of the world.
for the new term: C. T. Stewart, president; E. Kanyo,
vice president; A. Balbach, secretary.
Committee elected in 1963.